Etikettarkiv: speyside whisky review

Benriach 10 YO The Original Ten – Three Cask Matured

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was released in 2020 as a part of Benriach’s new core range. It was aged in a mix of traditional (refill) ex-bourbon barrels, ex-sherry casks and virgin oak casks.

Glenallachie – 11 YO Grattamacco Wine Cask Finish

ABV: 48 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet ripe berries and malt. At first there’s a big emphasis on the ripe berries with a thick top layer coming from the red wine casks. Underneath lies a malty and sweet core with a mild spicyness attached to it. Vanilla and fudge notes can be found within. When it settles there are light floral notes and a fresher tropical fruitiness coming through along the edges of the glass with a hint of peaches and violets. There’s also a mild and thin menthol layer on top. This is a very good nose but it feels a bit top heavy. It greatly improves with time in the glass.

Mouth: It starts out with the soft, ripe berries covering the outer parts of the palate. There’s an almond/marzipan note attached to the outer layer as well. It comes through as slightly bitter, but it’s not an offensive bitterness. The whole is not as sweet on the palate as on the nose. The fresher fruitiness creates an orange peel note in the background and the peaches are still in there. There’s still a toffee sweetness in the center, but it’s not especially pronounced and it feels a bit dusty. The floral notes are nowhere to be found.

Finish: The ripe berries stay in the outer layer through the transition and the orange peel notes stay in the background. It’s a logical transition without any spikes. The peaches is now once again showing themselves in the back part of the palate but they are soon competing with the oakiness, which seems to emerge from the orange peel in the background. It’s a nice nutty oakiness which fits nicely with the rest of the character. It carries the fresher fruits a long way down the late finish. This is a very good whisky overall. It feels a bit top heavy and the wine cask finish feels a bit detached from the rest of the whisky.

Additional information
This whisky is first aged in american ex-bourbon barrels for 9 years and then finished in ex-Grattamacco wine barriques for 2 years. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

The Balvenie 21 YO – PortWood

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a very big bucket of mixed fruits. There are raisins, blackberries, cherries, oranges, lemons and ripe nectarines. The bucket sits on a dusty bookshelf together with som leather-bound old books. The whole thing seems to be wrapped up in a nice layer of honey and vanilla. There’s also a malty note in the background. This is a complex, wonderful nose. It really makes up for the lack of power with some big flavours.

Mouth: It starts out with vanilla, dust and a hint of lemon. After a few seconds it starts to grow and the maltiness together with honey and orange peel create a very nice core flavour. With time, the bitter side sort of takes over as the oakiness starts to come through. The red and darker fruits are not as present as on the nose and the orange peel note is very pronounced. It’s got a thick texture to it and it feels very rich.

Finish: It kind of starts out with a flavour arc where the sweetness starts out on a low level and then after increasing moves over to become a sweet orange peel bitter fruitiness. It then seemlessly turns over to a dusty oakiness as the flavour intensity decreases. The darker sweet fruits show up in the late finish and the oakiness becomes nutty and brings some hazelnuts down the road. This is a fantastic, quite complex whisky even though it lacks some power.

Additional information
This 21 YO was first released in 1996. It’s aged in ex-bourbon casks and then finished for a couple of months in 30 YO ex-port pipes. This version shouldn’t be mistaken for the travel retail version, which is sold with higher strength and is unchillfiltered.

The Balvenie 12 YO – DoubleWood

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is fruity and sweet. There’s oranges, both the juice and the peel, together with honey and vanilla. It’s pretty laid back and very easy on the nose. After a while some green apples and pears join the fruity side and a soothing menthol lies as a thin layer over the fruits. There’s a small hint of cinnamon on top of the fruits and maybe just a hint of white chocolate. This is not very complex but still very pleasant on the nose.

Mouth: The honey comes first and then a touch of spicyness. There’s an immediate bitterness that comes through together with the fruitiness. It’s orange peel and oak together with vanilla and a speck of dust. The cinnamon is in there as well as a butterscotch note which appears after a few seconds. There’s a small hint of darker fruits well hidden in the background. There’s no astringency and it’s got a nice feel to it overall.

Finish: There’s a small dip in flavour at first, then the orange peel and the oak come back into focus. There are red berries and dried fruits coming through but they never take over. The oakiness is dusty with a touch of bitterness. The honey and vanilla are now long gone. There’s a coffee note, but mainly there’s just a grey weathered oak feel to it. In the tail end the oranges reappears together with a small rye note and gives it a nice send off. This is a good entry level single malt.

Additional information
Released in 1993, this is one of the first wine finished whiskies made. It’s matured for 12 years in second and third fill american ex-bourbon oak barrels and then finished in first fill spanish ex-Oloroso sherry butts for 9 months.

Tomintoul Seiridh Batch 3

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 2/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. A very thick layer of assorted dried fruits with detectable raisins cover everything else. There are walnuts and a hint of ripe berries as well. The distillate behind feels somewhat flat due to the low ABV. It seems to be young but it’s hard to push through the waxy sherry layer. The sweetness seems to be leaning towards brown syryp with a hint of vanilla but it mainly comes attached to the fruits. This is a decent nose which is top heavy and way too mild underneath.

Mouth: It starts out with a spirity young distillate in the back and the dried fruits and waxy walnuts up front. There’s a black coffee note in the center of the palate and the raisins and ripe fruits are coming through as well. There’s a fresher fruitiness in the background with a mild citrus note. It feels very unbalanced and it really feels like a cover-up with the thick sherry lid trying to make up for the lack of quality behind it. The low ABV doesn’t help it to reach any heights either.

Finish: There’s a mild spicyness and an ethanol layer sitting on top of a mix of fresh citrus in the back and the dried fruits and sweet syryp up front. It just sort of crumbles early on in the finish which is a good thing because it reveals an absolutely marvellous oakiness filled with both walnuts and hazelnuts, a touch of wax and a hint of vanilla and coffee. The oakiness stays for a long time and leaves a fantastic experience for a long finish. This is a rather bad whisky but the finish is just breathtaking and makes one forget most the bumps along the way.

Additional information
This is a whisky aged for an undisclosed amount of time in a mix of ex-Oloroso sherry butts and whisky aged in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in ex-Oloroso sherry butts. This is bottle no. 2818/3000 of batch 3.

Glenlivet 18 YO – Single Cask Edition (13091)

ABV: 56.9 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was bottled 11/2020. It was aged in an american oak hogshead. The cask number is 13091. The bottle tried is no. 87/252.

Cragganmore 20 YO – Special Release 2020

ABV: 55.8 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 1999 and aged in a mix of refill ex-bourbon barrels and new fresh-charred oak casks.

Linkwood 21 YO (Artist Collective 2.1)

ABV: 58 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 1997 and was drawn from a batch of 5 refill sherry hogsheads exclusivly for Le Maison du Whisky. This is from collective #2.1.

AnCnoc 18 YO

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Highlands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a dusty vanilla and butterscotch sweetness filling up most of the center. It’s surrounded by a sweet dried fruitiness creating a thin layer. The fruitiness slowly grows bigger and mixes with the sweetness and becomes a bit darker than before. There’s also a mild menthol note floating around up above together with a floral note. The age shines through with a tiny smell of old furniture but it feels surprisingly fresh for its age. This is a pleasant and quite gentle nose, yet it still feels rich and balanced.

Mouth: It starts out with a dusty mix of assorted dried fruits and berries with an outer core of honey and vanilla. It feels very big and it demands a lot more attention than it did on the nose. It’s quite spicy and there’s a nice texture to it. The fruitiness switches towards brighter and sour notes after a while. There’s a nice contrasting bitterness coming from an oakiness sitting way back on the palate at this point. There’s also a mix of kitchen spices floating around. It feels quite complex even though the baseplate feels rather simple.

Finish: The dustiness really comes through in the beginning of the finish as well as a spike in ABV spicyness. Once it settles there’s a mix of sour lemon and darker fruits taking over for a while. A black liquorice note pops up and so do the kitchen spices. The hint of old furniture pops up once again before the oakiness starts to take over. It’s a nice and spicy oak with a hint of oakiness attached to it. It never gets overwhelming but stays for a long time. This is a great whisky with a lot to offer both as a sipper and as a tasting experience.

Additional information
This whisky was first released in 2014. It’s aged in a mix of ex-bourbon barrels and european oak ex-sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

The Macallan 12 YO – Sherry Oak Cask

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and dark sherry fruity. At first there’s a mix of vanilla and sweet liquorice together with liqueur-soaked cherries, raisins, ripe plums and just a small hint of marzipan. Some fresh berries come through on the edges and maybe a hint of red apples too. The cask influence really covers most of the distillate. There’s a seeweedy note on top that brings it down a few notches. This is not complex, just mild and sherry-driven.

Mouth: The intro is quite flat and watery and it takes a while to get to the flavours. First out are vanilla and cherries, then a bitterness builds up and leads way directly to the oakiness. The sweet liquorice is still prominent in the mix as well as raisins. Some dried figs are now also detectable. A tiny spice note and a hint of cinnamon tries to fight the bitter oak for attention. It’s somewhat astringent, but it only shows after a few sips.

Finish: A dry oak almost immediately takes front seat. Plums, figs and raisins are creating a baseline together with the sweet liquorice. There are coffee, cinnamon and brown syryp notes. It’s quite dry and astringent. There is a spicyness but it starts out on a low level and then moves on a downslope through the entire finish. The oak is wet, grey wooden planks. This is a decent dram but the nose is much better than the rest.

Additional information
This expression is matured exclusively in Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks from Jerez, Spain. It rests in the same cask for the entire maturation period.

Tamnavulin Red Wine Cask Edition – Pinot Noir

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 2/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This is a single malt first aged in american ex-bourbon casks and then finished in Pinot Noir red wine casks. There is no information on aging time. This bottle is from batch 000164.

The Macallan Sienna

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is ripe fruits and berries. A thick layer of vanilla, overripe plums and raisins stretch out over a fresh fruity base. In the back there are green grapes and red apples. There’s a gentle spicyness surrounding everything and in the background the oakiness peek through. There’s also a ginger note binding everything together. This is most certainly a sherry bomb, even though it’s quite mild to the nose.

Mouth: It starts out very thick and creamy. It’s vanilla heavy and the ripe fruitiness is still prominent, but it has taken a small step back. A sour lemon note is now sitting in the background. There is a floral note floating around in the middle. The spicyness builds up and it’s coming from the oak, not the ABV. It becomes slightly astringent after a while. The oakiness has a nutty side to it with walnuts coming through and they bring along a nice bitterness.

Finish: The bitterness is joining the vanilla and the sherry fruitiness as the main attraction. The spicyness travels on a downward slope and gets further and further away. It’s a very nice spicyness and it feels more powerful than it is. The oakiness is somewhat ananomous and just push forward the walnuts as a representative. It’s a very nice, nutty flavour though. The finish is long and rewarding. This is surprisingly good.

Additional information
This expression is a part of the Macallan 1824 series. It’s aged in a mix of first fill ex-sherry casks made from american and european oak. It has natural colour.

Mortlach 12 YO – The Wee Witchie

ABV: 43.4 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is fruity, sweet and floral. There’s honey on top of green apples, ripe green grapes and some fresh red berries. There’s a tiny hint of menthol. Vanilla and some liquorice comes through after a while in the glass. There’s an earthy note of dry soil sitting in the back together with dust and some heather. A savory note sits in the heart of everything making it quite complex but still very clean and easy on the nose.

Mouth: It starts out honey sweet and spicy. The fruitiness rolls in like a wave with the ripe green grapes in front, but now there’s some darker dried fruits in the mix. The oak arrives pretty early and brings a nice bitterness. There’s walnuts, dust and the savory note is still found in the middle of everything.

Finish: This goes immediatly to the oak. It’s grey weathered oak planks and walnuts. The heather and the dry soil come back for a couple of seconds. The savory note keeps on making appearances and there’s now a hint of peaches peeking through the oakiness. It’s not astringent, but it is somewhat dry on the toungue. The spicyness follows along.

Additional information
”Wee witchie” comes from the nickname of the smallest still in the Mortlach distillery. This 12 YO was first released in 2018. It’s distilled 2.81 times and aged in both american ex-bourbon barrels and european ex-sherry casks.

Ballantine’s Glenburgie 18 YO

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is very fruity and vanilla sweet. Ripe red apples and sweet oranges share the main space with a piece of vanilla fudge. There’s a touch of honey but it’s not the main sweetness. It’s very mild and lacks some complexity expected from the high age statement. It’s simple and straight forward.

Mouth: It starts out very watery then slowly builds up as the seconds goes by. First to come through is pears, then spices, then oranges and grapefruits. After a few seconds the age starts to shine through with some complexity and some musty background notes. The oak is in the back and it comes through as grey old dry oak planks. It’s flat and really lacks a lot of power.

Finish: The vanilla fudge comes first and then it moves towards the fruitiness once again. It almost feels like a lightly carbonated soft drink. Honey and pears appear before the oranges completely takes over. When the oakiness comes back, it’s still grey wooden planks. There’s no astringency and no bitterness. This is very drinkable, but it’s not especially interesting.

Additional information
The Glenburgie 18 YO was released in 2019. It’s aged in traditional (refill) casks. This bottle is labeled with ”Series 001”.

Speyburn Bradan Orach

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 1/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is young and spirit driven. At first there’s a rather flat fruity pear note with some vanilla and malt attached to it. The distillate is young and very pronounced and it comes with an unpleasant cardboard note. With time in the glass the fruity note grows a bit more noticable and a tiny sweet liquorice note comes through around the edges. The vanilla turns into a thin toffee note after a while. This is a rather thin and uninteresting nose.

Mouth: It starts out with a generic sweetness taking up most of the palate and the distillate sits up front. It really tastes like cardboard and it’s very flat. The fruitiness is coming through as ripe yellow pears but it’s beaten down by most of the other flavours. The oak is already present and it’s a very bitter and unpleasant oakiness in the background. The sweetness do turn into the same vanilla and toffee note as before but they are still overridden by all the other unpleasantries going on.

Finish: The distillate pushes through once again and it brings the cardboard note with it. It’s very young and harsh. The sweetness and the fruitiness flickers by but fortunatly it completely falls apart rather quickly and it doesn’t take long before the (not in a good way) bitter oakiness is all that’s left. To be fair, after a couple of minutes the oakiness settles down and becomes a bit nutty, which is a good thing. This is a really bad whisky and it certainly presents itself as a budget alternative.

Additional information
Bradan Orach means golden salmon in Gaelic. It’s aged in american ex-bourbon oak barrels and was added to the core range in 2009.

Glen Grant 12 YO

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a ripe red apple fruitiness together with a malty base and a coating of vanilla and honey. There’s also a fresher fruitiness surrounding the core. It’s very dessert-like and there are some baking spices floating around somewhere inside. It feels very homogenous and everything lies close to the core. With time a marzipan note start to emerge around the edges of the glass. This is a very pleasant nose. It isn’t complex but delivers the profile without flaws.

Mouth: It starts out with lemons and oranges on the edges and a rich malty core with vanilla, honey and red ripe apples in the center. It’s got a nice texture and feels ”larger” than on the nose. After a few seconds the outside fruitiness turns slightly bitter and creates an orange peel note. A hint of baking spices are in there as well and it still feels like a dessert, but it’s not too sweet.

Finish: The finish starts the same way as the mouth with a nice orange peel fruitiness exploding around the palate before the sweet honey and vanilla returns in the center. It’s less malty and more fruity and it stays that way all the way through. The only shift is when the oakiness start to come through, which is fashionably late. It’s a nice aged wood oakiness with a hint of mixed nuts. The fruitiness follows along all the way through. This is a great whisky. It’s not complex nor an explorer’s whisky, but as an easy sipper it’s a perfect background whisky.

Additional information
The cask type isn’t stated anywhere but the taste profile suggests ex-bourbon american white oak. There is another version of this whisky which is only sold in travel retail, but that one is unchillfiltered and the ABV is 48 %.

Cardhu Gold Reserve – Game of Thrones House Targaryen

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 2/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and slightly fruity. Honey, vanilla and toffee are sitting on top of some baked red apples. It’s very mild and nothing really pops from the glass. It’s dusty and there’s just a hint of oak in the back. The toffee note moves forward with time in the glass. It’s very rounded around the edges even if it has a youthness sitting in the back, which manifests as a thin metallic note.

Mouth: A very sweet start with honey and a lemon note quickly passing by. It stays very sweet for a long time with vanilla and toffee slowly moving forward. There’s a white pepper spicyness, but it never really amounts to anything. When it finally sets some of the sweetness aside it slowly reveals a slightly bitter oak, but it just stays in the back. It’s still extremely mild and round like a marble.

Finish: The finish is just a continuation of the sweet and mild parade. A few seconds of honey, vanilla and toffee goes by before it lands in a bland oakiness. It’s a little dusty, but otherwise laid back and it feels like it doesn’t want to be noticed. The toasted flavours do come through though, but they do not do much to create anything. This is too mild and too well rounded to be interesting. It’s definitely a good dram if someone needs an introduction into scotch.

Additional information
The Gold Reserve was first released in 2014 for the european market and they now use the same whisky as a GoT special release. It’s aged in toasted oak barrels.

Glenfarclas 15 YO

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is vanilla and dried fruits. At first a layer of vanilla and dried exotic fruits sit beneath a thin veil of menthol. There’s a fresh lemon and peach note as well. It becomes fruitier with time in the glass. There is a tiny hint of salty caramel in the background. There is a sweeter side to it as well, like an icing sugar on top of a fruit cake. This is a very pleasant nose.

Mouth: It starts out with a darker fruitiness with raisins and overripe plums. There is a clear sulfur note sitting in the back. It’s oily and the lemon is still detectable. The dried exotic fruits are still in there, as well as the vanilla, but they are not especially pronounced. The salty caramel note is completely gone. There is a speck of dust in the middle and as well as a honey sweetness. It gets somewhat spicy after a few seconds.

Finish: A mix of both dark and dried fruits flare up together with the menthol. When it settles it reveals the sulfur as well as a savory note. It then switches over to the oakiness, which is a nice dry, slightly bitter oak with notes of coffee and hazelnuts. The sherry notes stay as a top layer throughout the long oak finish. There is a hint of smoke coming through in the late finish. This is a liquid fruit cake, and a great whisky.

Additional information
The Glenfarclas 15 YO is aged in european ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s lightly peated with 4 PPM. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

Tamnavulin Red Wine Cask Edition – Cabernet Sauvignon

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This is a single malt first aged in american ex-bourbon casks and then finished in Cabernet Sauvignon red wine casks. There is no information on aging time. This bottle is from batch 001243.

Tamnavulin Red Wine Cask Edition – Grenache

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is mixed fruits and butterscotch. At first there’s a bright and slightly pointy fruitiness hitting the nose. Behind that there are notes of oranges, red fruits and butterscotch. A cooling mint is hovering above everything else. With time in the glass the red wine berries start to be more detectable as a single entity. This is a very approachable and quite fantastic nose.

Mouth: It starts out very sour. There’s a big layer of lemons sitting on the outside. In the center there’s a mix of butterscotch and ripe red grapes together with grey oak planks. There’s also a coffee bitterness. It feels quite young and a little bit prickly on the tongue. It becomes honey sweet after a few seconds.

Finish: A honey sweetness fills the mouth and it is soon joined by a butterscotch note. The ripe red fruitiness comes through almost as a part of the butterscotch. The lemon sourness is not as pronounced in the finish but it still creates a layer surrounding everything else. The oakiness is still dry and brings the mind towards dry grey oak planks. This is a good whisky with a fantastic nose.

Additional information
This is a single malt first aged in american ex-bourbon casks and then finished in Grenache red wine casks. There is no information on aging time. This bottle is from batch 001075.